Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeareby Angus Fletcher
Theirs was a world of exploration and experimentation, of movement and growth--and in this, the thinkers of the Renaissance, poets and scientists alike, followed their countrymen into uncharted territory and unthought space. A book that takes us to the very heart of the enterprise of the Renaissance, this closely focused but far-reaching work by the distinguished
Theirs was a world of exploration and experimentation, of movement and growth--and in this, the thinkers of the Renaissance, poets and scientists alike, followed their countrymen into uncharted territory and unthought space. A book that takes us to the very heart of the enterprise of the Renaissance, this closely focused but far-reaching work by the distinguished scholar Angus Fletcher reveals how early modern science and English poetry were in many ways components of one process: discovering and expressing the secrets of motion, whether in the language of mathematics or verse.
Throughout his book, Fletcher is concerned with one main crisis of knowledge and perception, and indeed cognition generally: the desire to find a correct theory of motion that could only end with Newton's Laws. Beginning with the achievement of Galileo--which changed the world--Time, Space, and Motion identifies the problem of motion as the central cultural issue of the time, pursued through the poetry of the age, from Marlowe and Shakespeare to Ben Jonson and Milton, negotiated through the limits and the limitless possibilities of language much as it was through the constraints of the physical world.
When was the last time you couldn't put down a book of literary criticism or didn't want it to end? Ever? In Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare, Angus Fletcher, a magically gifted teacher in whose presence we hear what thinking feels like, has given us not only a brilliant study of the early modern period but a handbook for our time as well...Quietly astounding observations punctuate his volume...Here is the critic as wizard, making us see what we have always seen but never seen before.
Reading [Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare] is a bit like sharing a late-night conversation with a particularly brilliant, eloquent, digressive, athletically persuasive, and universally read colleague...Fletcher covers an astonishing amount of territory in this demanding, and rewarding, book.
William N. West
Fletcher convincingly demonstrates what he calls “the predominant conceptual, scientific, metaphysical and hence philosophic power of the idea of motion for the poets of the early modern age”...As a former student of Professor Fletcher at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, I have the advantage of imagining his voice and gestures, of remembering the kind of dumbfounding observations he would toss off seemingly out of nowhere as we students struggled to keep up with his incredible ability to think polysemantically.
Of all the studies on the history of witchcraft that have appeared in recent years, this must surely be one of the most compelling. To a field and an episode that have often been melodramatized, if not sensationalized, Malcolm Gaskill brings an enviable sense of balance. He also writes with a novelist’s instincts for place and mood and for details of character, emotion, landscape, and weather, creating a wonderful evocation of East Anglia during the first Civil War...Gaskill takes us through case after case...writing with great sensitivity and compassion about the human and social dynamics involved, the conditions of imprisonment and trial, and the harrowing ends of those convicted...Indeed, Gaskill writes with such evenness and calm authority about the personal and collective turmoil that his book never fails to convince. It succeeds in two contrasting directions simultaneously: it accounts for an episode previously treated as singular and odd as the almost-to-be-expected outcome of prevailing historical conditions, and yet it never loses sight of the unique human tragedies from which it was made.
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What People are saying about this
Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon
Kenneth Knoespel, McEver Professor in the Liberal Arts, Georgia Institute of Technology
John Hollander, Sterling Professor of English emeritus, Yale University
John Rogers, Professor of English, Yale University
Meet the Author
Angus Fletcher is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York Graduate School.
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